Book Club: Timewyrm: Exodus

There, finished it. And, it’s a lot of fun. Do I agree with some of the ideas that alien interferrence caused World War II and the Holocaust? No. That said, it gave a Doctor Who-ish way into a period that, surprisingly, Doctor Who has barely touched. I do think that Terrence’s reliance on his old stories (The War Games here, the random assortment in The Eight Doctors) is a crutch he wields, though that said, I still had fun with it. So far, the VNAs have been enjoyable stories, but nothing really special or overly ground-breaking. I’ve still enjoyed reading them though and Dicks has such a readable prose style that makes for fun reading. I can understand how his novelizations of past stories captivated a generation of British kids.

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I was luckily unspoiled about the inclusion of The War Chief because I have a bad memory and totally forgot I already added that to the site, plus I deliberately didn’t look.

It’s nice to be unspoiled about something for a change! Though looking back, it is kind of obvious lol.

I just think having the War Chief involved dilutes the Timewyrm’s importance even more. This is barely a story in the same arc

We have read a couple of VNAs and a couple of NSAs, what do people think - do they prefer the old or the new so far?

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I would say based on the books we have read for the Book Club so far it is about 50/50, perhaps leaning a bit towards the VNAs.
But based on all the NSAs (about 15) and VNAs (currently on number 24) I have read, I very much prefer VNAs - but then again I am kind of a sucker for 90’s sci-fi :grin:

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I’m surprised to admit that I’ve enjoyed the VNAs more so far. It’s surprising because I prefer the Revival to Classic on TV. I think the NSAs we’ve listened to so far have been targeted at a younger audience.

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I agree, the NSAs up till now have focused more on the YA bits of Doctor Who, leaning a bit more towards Aliens of London/World War 3/The End of the World than The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances/Dalek.
But yeah generally I do prefer the Classic over Modern so I am probably also a bit inclined to go for that era.

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We’ve read two VNAs and three NSAs so far, and the two Timewyrms have generally been more interesting (though not perfect), while I found the first two NSAs a bit disappointing. So right now, I prefer the VNAs.

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Only having the VNAs right now, I’m going off of memory. But I find the NSAs to be quicker lighter reads, fun if you get the right one. The VNAs (and Classic Who novels in general like the VMAs, PDAs and EDAs) tend to be meatier books. Sometimes that means they’re a chore to muddle through, especially when the plot doesn’t grab you. But they have the potential to be more rewarding.

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6 chapters in. This is good!!! Don’t have time for a longer analysis right now. But it is such an interesting premise and I just want to keep reading.

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Okay, I am done now. As a whole, I agree with a lot that is said above. I also don’t like the part with the TW taking some of the blame for what Hitler did and when Ace became a damsel in distress. But, I liked it a lot, especially the first part in the wrong timeline London. It was fun and felt mature in the right way to do it. If you compare it to the first book this one talked about issues in a better way. As an example (not quotes but of memory):

Book 1: Doctor to Ace: Grow up. He is going to touch you improperly. He is a king. It could be worse.

Book 2: Doctor to Ace: I know it is bad but nazis are also sexist. And then makes fun of the nazi to Ace without the nazi understanding.

Both situations are the doctor telling Ace to back down and pick her battles but one does it right and the other does it the wrong way.

I gave it 4/5

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I quite liked this quote (which you added) (I had to edit it slightly to match the format)

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After the jarring note struck by Genesys, picking up this book felt like “coming home” as I had read so many of Terrance Dicks’ Target books before that it felt like immersing myself in a Doctor Who book again from the outset. 7 and Ace were totally recognisable and I could “hear” Sylvester & Sophie saying every line, and picture the relish with which Sylvester would have played the “undercover Gestapo officer” scenes!

It was also good to revisit a past character from the TV series which again helped to ground the book as being “Doctor Who”. I felt that this time it did meet the brief of a more mature approach & being too broad & deep for the small screen without resorting to gratuitous sex & violence.

My one major criticism is that despite supposedly being part of her arc, it wasn’t about the Timewyrm. She just felt shoehorned in as an afterthought and did not in any way come across as the same character from the previous book. In retrospect she should have been removed altogether and instead this book (without her) used to launch the series as a standalone by acting as an accessible bridge from the Target books to the new series.

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Just finished this! This was a great read. Easy to get through and engaging throughout. Terrance certainly knows how to write Doctor Who. I agree with most of the points above of criticism, I share the same thoughts on things such as diminishing Hitler’s human responsibility for the suffering he caused. Still, I enjoyed this one a lot more than the previous book. Particularly Part 1 was very funny!

I had this villain spoiled for me, but I never watched the serial they came from. So it was interesting when I found out what they were about.

The Timewyrm is definitely shoehorned in, unfortunately. I agree @Jane_Smee that this should’ve started the range without the Timewyrm.

Overall, very enjoyable. 8/10

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